Cannabidiol (CBD) has powerful potential for women’s health. Check out some of the top benefits.
Up to 90% of reproductive-age women experience dysmenorrhea, or painful periods . Turning to CBD to manage the symptoms might not be new; one review suggests that cannabinoids were prescribed for PMS in 16th century China . CBD has several therapeutic properties that make it applicable:
- Pain Relief: Prostaglandins contribute to PMS pain, and CBD inhibits the enzyme that produces prostaglandins. CBD has also been shown to decrease sensitivity to pain by influencing nerve receptors and neurotransmitters .
- Anti-Inflammation: CBD activates receptors on immune cells and curbs the release of inflammatory cytokines .
- Mood Support: CBD is an agonist for serotonin receptors in our brains and may enhance/balance mood .
- Softer Contractions: CBD may have the potential to relax uterine muscle contractions [5,6].
- Sweet Dreams: CBD may help alleviate sleep issues caused by pain .
Women are significantly more likely than men to develop gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) . The symptoms also tend to be worse (bloating, cramps, diarrhea, etc.) .
Phytocannabinoids (like CBD) have been shown to inhibit GI contraction and motility (spontaneous movement) . A study in PLOS One reported that CBD reduces intestinal inflammation . CBD may also curb gastric secretion . Emerging research suggests that cannabinoids even help maintain healthy gut microbiota . A review of literature in Phytotherapy Research considered CBD a “promising drug for the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases .”
Autoimmune Disease Symptoms
About 8% of Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease, but roughly 75% are women .
Autoimmune disease occurs when immune cells mistake the body’s cells as a threat. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, and lupus. CBD has demonstrated immunosuppressive effects in mice, inhibiting leukocytes, facilitating T-cell death, and reducing inflammatory cytokine release .
Cannabinoids have shown promise for multiple sclerosis since they reduce spasticity and central pain [17,18]. Recent research in Frontiers in Neurology called for the broad use of CBD to increase mobility in individuals with multiple sclerosis .
Women are twice as likely as men to suffer clinical anxiety . Differences in brain chemistry create higher susceptibility for stress-related disorders.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in stress reduction. CBD activates the limbic and paralimbic brain areas ; it also interacts directly with serotonin receptors . Researchers have illustrated that CBD can help mitigate learned fear . A study in Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD reduced social anxiety in human participants .
Looking and feeling great are a significant part of health and wellness. Skin is integrated into the endocannabinoid system, and CBD has shown promise against acne . Cannabinoids affect skin growth, hormone balance, and hair follicles in generally beneficial ways . The research in this area is young, but there are many women (including celebrities) who are taking advantage of CBD’s positive effects on appearance.
These are just some of the benefits that CBD can offer women. Don’t take our word for it… try it!
- (2019). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/dysmenorrhea
- Russo, E. (2002). Introduction: Women and cannabis: Medicine, science, and sociology. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics,2(3-4), 1-3. doi:10.1300/j175v02n03_01
- Barrie, N., & Manolios, N. (2017). The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease. European Journal of Rheumatology,4(3), 210-218. doi:10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17025
- Linge, R., et al. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: Role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology,103, 16-26. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.017
- Pagano, E., et al. (2017). Role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of mouse myometrium contractility during the menstrual cycle. Biochemical Pharmacology,124, 83-93. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2016.11.023
- Houlihan, D. D., Dennedy, M. C., & Morrison, J. J. (2010). Effects of abnormal cannabidiol on oxytocin-induced myometrial contractility. Reproduction,139(4), 783-788. doi:10.1530/rep-09-0496
- Russo, E. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management,Volume 4, 245-259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928
- Drossman, D., Whitehead, W., & Booker, C. (2017). Women and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders. https://www.med.unc.edu/ibs/files/2017/10/IBS-in-Women.pdf
- Cain, K. C., et al. (2008). Gender differences in gastrointestinal, psychological, and somatic symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. Digestive Diseases and Sciences,54(7), 1542-1549. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0516-3
- Aviello, G., Romano, B., & Izzo, A. (2008). Cannabinoids and gastrointestinal motility: Animal and human studies. European review for medical and pharmacological sciences, 12(1).
- Filippis, D. D., et al. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune Axis. PLoS ONE,6(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028159
- Massa, F., & Monory, K. (2006). Endocannabinoids and the gastrointestinal tract. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 29(3), 47–57.
- Qorri, B., Szewczuk, M., & Kalaydina, R. (2017). Preventing negative shifts in gut microbiota with cannabis therapy: Implications for colorectal cancer. Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 7(3). https://doi.org/10.19080/ARGH.2017.07.555712
- Esposito, G., et al. (2013). Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: A Brief overview. Phytotherapy Research, 27(5). https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.4781
- Fairweather, D., & Rose, N. R. (2004). Women and autoimmune diseases. Emerging infectious diseases, 10(11), 2005–2011. doi:10.3201/eid1011.040367
- Katchan, V., David, P., & Shoenfeld, Y. (2016). Cannabinoids and autoimmune diseases: A systematic review. Autoimmunity Reviews,15(6), 513-528. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2016.02.008
- Wade, D. T., et al. (2004). Do cannabis-based medicinal extracts have general or specific effects on symptoms in multiple sclerosis? A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on 160 patients. Multiple Sclerosis Journal,10(4), 434-441. doi:10.1191/1352458504ms1082oa
- Rog, D. J., et al. (2005). Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis. Neurology,65(6), 812-819. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000176753.45410.8b
- Rudroff, T., & Sosnoff, J. (2018). Cannabidiol to improve mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. Frontiers in Neurology,9. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00183
- (2018). Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/women/facts
- Crippa, J. A., et al. (2003). Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on regional cerebral blood flow. Neuropsychopharmacology,29(2), 417-426. doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1300340
- Schier, A., et al. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: A Chemical compound of cannabis sativa. CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets,13(6), 953-960. doi:10.2174/1871527313666140612114838
- Jurkus, R., et al. (2016). Cannabidiol regulation of learned fear: Implications for treating anxiety-related disorders. Frontiers in Pharmacology,7. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00454
- Bergamaschi, M. M., et al. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology,36(6), 1219-1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6
- Oláh, A., et al. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation,124(9), 3713-3724. doi:10.1172/jci64628
- Bíró, T., et al. (2009). The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: Novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences,30(8), 411-420. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2009.05.004